Springtails

What are springtails?

Springtails are small and unassuming insects often overlooked in our lawn and gardens. They have high moisture needs, and if the area they are living in becomes too dry, they will migrate towards areas of moisture, including inside of our homes. 

Springtails are tiny, soft-bodied insects that can be a variety of colors, including white, bluish, or dark gray to black. Their most unique feature is their furcula, an appendage they keep tucked up under the abdomen. When threatened, the springtail will force fluid into the base of the furcula, pushing it to the ground and propelling themselves forward. 

Springtail Control

 

Are springtails dangerous?

Springtails are not dangerous pests. Their small size often means that people confuse them with fleas, but springtails do not bite or feed on blood. They are nuisance pests that take over spaces in large numbers and can be difficult to deal with. 

springtail in flour

 

Why do I have a springtail problem?

Any area with excess moisture can attract springtails. Like most pests, springtails will live anywhere their basic needs are easily accessed. Our yards, gardens, driveways, and pools can all provide springtails with damp, shady spots to live, breed, and feed. If the weather becomes too hot and dry, our homes often offer them the sources of water they need to survive. 

 

What do springtails eat?

Springtails are scavengers that feed on dead organic matter like bacteria, fungi, algae, decaying plant matter, and sometimes carrion. The springtail's feeding habits are helpful, aiding in the return of nutrients to the ground. 

 

Where will I find springtails?

Due to their high moisture needs, springtails gather in areas where excess water is present.  Homeowners typically come across large populations of springtails in the following places:

  • Around the perimeter of a pool.

  • In overwatered gardens or flowerbeds.

  • In the damp soil under leaf piles, woodpiles, or fallen trees.

  • Under construction debris.

  • Under trash cans or recycling bins.

  • In the ground under dripping air conditioners or downspouts.

When springtails move into a home, they gather in humid areas that provide water sources. Basements, bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms are where we often find these nuisance pests. 

 

How do I get rid of springtails?

If springtails ever become an issue in your home or yard, reach out to the professionals at Miche Pest Control for help. One of our professionals will get to the bottom of your property's pest infestation and implement the regular pest control services necessary to help you maintain a pest-free home. If you live in the Washington, DC, Maryland & Northern Virginia area and would like to learn more about our family owned and operated pest control company and the residential or commercial pest control services we offer, call Miche Pest Control today!

 

How can I prevent springtails in the future?

There are several things that you can do around your home to make it less attractive to springtails.

  • Make sure gutters are working to help prevent water from overflowing and seeping into your walls and roof.

  • Install a dehumidifier in your home to help reduce excess moisture.

  • Do not overwater gardens or potted plants.

  • If you own a pool, make sure no leaks are present.

  • Remove leaves, woodpiles, and brush piles from your yard that allow moisture to collect in the soil.

    Replace wood mulch that absorbs moisture with non-organic materials.

  • Inspect your foundation sealing any tiny gaps or crevices you discover to help keep these small pests out. 

 

How Can I Prevent Clover Mites In The Future?

There are several steps that homeowners can take to help prevent clover mite infestations indoors:

Remove all grass and weeds from around the foundation perimeter and leaving a vegetation free strip about two feet wide. Clover mites are not as likely to move through bare, loose soil as they are through soil that is supporting plants that touch the structure's foundation. Use of pea gravel can also discourage mite movement into the structure.

Inspect your home, including the foundation, window frames and siding for cracks that may serve as entry points. These spaces should be properly caulked or otherwise sealed to prevent clover mites from laying eggs or entering the home. Make sure your window screens are tight fitting and in good repair.

Make sure your lawn and ornamental plant beds are not over-fertilized, since clover mite populations tend to do better when the plants they're feeding on are well fertilized.

 

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